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The Ancient Olympics

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  • A Sculpture of a Young Athlete (Replica)
  • A Sculpture of a Young Athlete (Replica)

  • The first ancient Olympic Games are believed to have been held in 776 BC as part of a religious festival in tribute to the mythological Greek god Zeus. Victors at the Games were praised highly and even had statues built in their honor. The sculptures of this era embodied ideal images of ancient Greek athletes, where the graceful and strong bodies of young competitors were revered as a paradigm of physical beauty.

  • Strigilis (A Curved Metal Tool used to Scrape Sweat in Ancient Greece)
  • Strigilis (A Curved Metal Tool used to Scrape Sweat in Ancient Greece)

  • In ancient Greece, the athletes competed in the nude, slathered in olive oil to protect the skin and to enhance their looks. After the games they would scrape sweat, dirt and olive oil from their bodies using a curved metal tool, before bathing. This practice is believed to have started around 500 BC.

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